Charming Kitsch

Had lunch. Then conquered a village. 


I've been using the word "kitsch" a lot lately, haven't I? Today's impromptu visit to Shuvalovka, an ideal reenactment of a traditional Russian village in the St. Petersburg area, was a welcome break from a heavily loaded schedule of a typical tourist. Named after the Shuvalov noble family, the village comprised quaint wooden houses with folk Russian carving, small cattle, amazing birds of prey like falcons and owls, birches--the quintessential Russian tree immortalized by the likes of Sergei Esenin, blacksmith's workshop, sauna, mill, and a wooden and brightly painted replica of a medieval Slavic ship!

Even my mobile photographs (though I took some with my fisheye lens as well) resemble Russian lacquer boxes with idyllic summer scenes of the country side. This village was a simulacrum that exists only in folk tales, and yet I wanted to stay.